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Game Theory in Poker- Giving Yourself an Advantage

Although it’s often labeled a game of chance, poker actually consists of a combination of ‘math skills,’ ‘people skills,’ and luck. And while you’d never really think to calculate equity computations while placing a bet, game-theory-based moves can definitely give you an advantage. Analyzing the hands you played after a game, and understanding your payoffs from each hand, can allow you to apply that knowledge during a next round, and thus, reap the benefits.

As stated in the article, knowing the math behind the hands one plays can allow a person to gain the skill-set of a much more experienced person more quickly. While the more experienced person may not be utilizing the math skills and may just be so well-versed in the language and antics of poker from experience, your average Joe could very well learn to acquire the same cleverness in a shorter amount of time.

The process of using this simple math strategy can be broken down to a few simple steps; by analyzing the cards you hold, you can decide which hand to play in hopes of getting a good return. But you also have to have to tap into intuition and try to guess the range of cards your opponent may have. Given these two probabilities, then, the hard part is trying to figure out the payoff of playing a certain hand, all with respect to your opponent.

However, as with many games, there is a limited amount of information to work with. Just having calculations to work with is not enough, nor is a determination of the odds of betting certain hands for certain rounds. Skills of deduction are put to the test in poker, and there is a huge probability distribution of what right moves can be made.

So the next time you’re out playing poker with your buds, take your game theory knowledge with you. Combine it with a good knack for reading and judging people’s moves, and you may just land yourself a big win.

– aks225


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